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					Chapter 1 –
Kids & Dogs:
You Can Conquer the Chaos
Kids and dogs. They go together like apple pie and vanilla ice
cream or cookies and milk. We expect kids and dogs to get
along great and be best buddies. So we might wonder why
anyone would need a book about living with kids and dogs.

Once you try having both under the same roof, you know the
truth: living with kids and dogs in the same household is not
always easy. And most books aren’t much help. Parenting
books say “control your dog.” Dog training books say
“control your kid.” The reality is far more complex and goes
way beyond placing blame on either children or dogs for
being who they are.

~ Every year, nearly 2.8 million children are bitten
 by a dog. Boys are bitten nearly twice as often as
 girls, and children between 5 and 9 years old are
the most at risk. Most of these bites come from a
   dog that belongs to the family or a friend. ~

Parents can a lot to foster a strong, loving relationship
between their children and their dog. It’s simply a matter of
education. We do the best we can with what we know. When
we know more, we do better. Let’s do better!
Chapter 2 –
Best Friend or Bad Choice:
The Right Dog for Your Family
SHOULD WE GET A DOG?
Nearly every parent has to answer that question sooner or
later. Coming up with the answer involves a very big decision
that shouldn’t be made lightly.

Getting a dog is a long-term commitment to having another
living, breathing, eating, mess-making member of the family.
Just as no two people are alike, no two dogs are alike either.
You must consider which characteristics you can live with in
a dog and which ones you cannot.

The first and most important question to answer is, why
would we want to add a dog to our family? There is no
perfect answer to this question. The best answers have to do
with enjoying spending time with dogs and loving the
companionship they provide.

Do you want a dog? Answer honestly. There’s a big
difference between wanting a dog and wanting to get a dog
for your kids. Parents must take the ultimate responsibility for
any pet, and a dog is a lot more work than a gerbil. Be sure
that you are willing to commit the time, money, and energy to
having a dog so that you don’t wind up feeling like a martyr
when dog care duties inevitably fall to you. Don’t fall for
your kids’ earnest faces and pleading promises to care for the
dog. Make no mistake—regardless of what they say now—
you will be the one who makes sure Shadow’s needs are met.
Chapter 3 –
Preventing Dog Bites:
Every Parent’s Concern
Each year, approximately 2.8 million children are bitten by a
dog. Boys receive two-thirds of these bites. Sixty-one percent
of these bites occur in a familiar setting—at home or at a
friend or relative’s home. But most of these bites can be
prevented, if the parents focus on relationship, management,
and training.

  ~ Learning to recognize when your dog needs
  assistance is the best way to avoid problems. ~

Whenever a child visits our home, I actively supervise every
interaction between the dog and the kids (mine too). If I can’t
supervise, I put Gordo in his crate or behind a baby gate, so
that he and the kids are separated.
Kids are exciting and exhausting. All parents know that, but
we often forget that our dogs see kids that way too. Dogs
become accustomed to the antics of “their” kids, but other
children can be very hard for them to read.
Dogs communicate almost entirely through body language.
Vocalizations are a very small part of their repertoire, and yet
that’s what most of us imagine when we think of how dogs
interact with each other and with us. And we’re much the
same: we communicate through body language far more than
we realize. However, it is important to learn that our body
language can affect our dogs in unexpected (to us) ways.
Chapter 4 –
Deal Breakers:
Spotting Serious Behavior Issues
Sometimes a behavior problem can be so challenging that it
becomes a deal breaker—a reason to get rid of your dog.
These decisions are never easy.

You’ll need to consider not only the safety of your children,
but also the happiness and stress level of your dog. There are
lots of dogs who do fine in adult-only households, but find
living with kids too difficult. This is not the dog’s fault, and
it’s not the kids’ fault either. Sometimes, it’s just the way it
is.

GROWLING OVER FOOD OR OBJECTS
Growling to prevent others from touching food or other
objects—what we trainers call resource guarding—is too
often is minimized. Many people say that they’ll just prevent
their dog from getting the things he guards. If Riley is only
obsessive about pigs’ ears, well, okay, problem solved. Either
don’t buy them or give them to him only when he’s isolated.

But usually dogs that engage in resource guarding have
multiple passions. They can range from the common
(rawhide, bones, and used Kleenex) to the more obscure (wet
bathing suits, necklace beads, Styrofoam balls, and crayons).
Chapter 5 –
Essential Equipment:
Setting Yourself Up for Success
The right tools can make any job easier, including working
with your dog. Here are some items that you may want to
consider using to simplify your life with your four-legged
friend.

BABY GATES
Baby gates are a wonderful invention. They create giant
playpens out of entire rooms. You can use a gate on a semi-
permanent basis to block off stairs for safety or keep the kids
out away from the workbench. But they are also enormously
handy for spur-of-the-moment uses like keeping Missy out of
the kitchen on make-your-own-pizza night when toppings are
flying left and right.

CORDLESS OR HEADSET PHONES
The value of a cordless or headset phone becomes apparent
the moment your child begins crawling. You’ll spend hours
following closely behind. Because of the need to closely
supervise your children around the dog, you need to be
mobile as well, but sometimes the value of an adult
conversation is so precious that you don’t want to hang up. A
cordless phone will let you do both: supervise your child and
have a conversation that consists of actual sentences and real
words.
Chapter 6 –
Babies and Toddlers:
Coping with Cribs and Kibble
There’s nothing like a new baby. They’re heart-meltingly
cute . . . and completely helpless. You will experience
moments of total exhilaration as you get to know this new
little person, but you’ll also feel total exhaustion as you learn
to take care of her. More likely than not, you’ll worry about
your ability to do anything besides basic baby care.

Adding to your worries may be your concern over how your
beloved dog will adjust to the baby’s arrival. For years,
Barney has been your “baby,” and you may worry that he’ll
feel neglected or jealous of the new baby. Fortunately you
can do a lot to ease the transition, and most dogs adjust
without any great difficulty.

DON’T GET A NEW DOG NOW
Helping your current dog adjust to the new arrival is one
thing; adding a dog is another.
The supervision needed for a new dog is very taxing. Your
first priority will be the baby, and you will need every bit of
energy you have.

~ Pregnancy and infancy are not good times to
    get a dog and definitely not a puppy! ~
Chapter 7 –
Preschoolers:
Someone’s Always Underfoot
Children five and under, otherwise known as preschoolers,
are delightful. They are smart and energetic, curious and full
of information, silly and serious. They keep you on your
toes—physically and mentally—as you try to stay one step
ahead of them.

RELATIONSHIP
Preschoolers don’t have enough empathy to truly understand
how to be consistently fair, kind, and gentle. They are still
reaching toward those developmental milestones, so parents
need to help them along the way. This means you will spend
lots of time intervening when Patrick and Pixie are together.

It’s important to understand that the kids are learning. When
they are a bit rough or unkind, they are experimenting with
cause and effect. While this is normal, it is not always safe.
We need to make sure the kids develop empathy in safe and
humane ways.

Modeling proper behavior is very helpful. Preschoolers like
to be part of a team. Tell them, “Our family never frightens
an animal. We are kind to animals.” You’ll be saying that for
years to come, but it’s an important lesson. Success will be
measured in tiny snippets. Perhaps, years from now on a farm
field trip, Patrick may not join the other boys in chasing a
10 – Living with Kids and Dogs . . . Without Losing Your Mind

turkey because he knows that we should “never frighten an
animal.” Then you’ll realize that he understands what you
began teaching him long ago.
Chapter 8 –
Elementary Schoolers:
Whose Turn Is It to Feed Edzo?
Close your eyes and think of a kid and dog who are best
friends. Who comes to mind? Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
Little Orphan Annie and Sandy. Timmy and Lassie. When
you think of a child and a dog as best friends, odds are the
child is between 6 and 12 years old.

The elementary school years are a period of great emotional
growth for kids. They’re learning lots of new skills and
encountering more social stress. Each day, they navigate
uncharted waters, dealing with issues like whether Samantha
will invite them to her birthday party even though Rebecca
told her she shouldn’t.

Dogs can provide a respite from all that stress and change.
They offer constant, nonjudgmental friendship. The
characteristics adults like in dogs—loyalty, empathy,
comfort, and consistency—are even more precious to kids as
they become more responsible and socially aware.

So elementary schoolers and dogs are a match made in
heaven, right? Not necessarily. It takes a special dog to live
with and love kids and an involved parent to help make the
relationship rewarding for the entire family.
Chapter 9 –
Teenagers:
As If Hormones Weren’t Enough
The finish line is in sight! Statistically your children’s risk of
being bitten by a dog drops dramatically in the teen years.
Teens are becoming aware of the ways their behavior affects
others, so they can defuse most stressful situations without
your assistance. (Well, at least stressful situations with dogs.
You and he may still have a few tense moments ahead.)

By now, Tyler is old enough to be responsible for Taffy’s
training and upkeep, but does he have time? Teens are busy
people who see a dog as part of their at-home lives—
someone they are happy to see when they are home (which
may be rare, especially once they get their drivers’ licenses!),
but don’t really think about or miss when they are out. That’s
okay. Distancing themselves from the family is a normal part
of growing up.

Keep in mind that it’s easier for a teen to leave than to be left.
While it may appear at times that Tyler doesn’t really care
much about Taffy, that does not mean that he wouldn’t be
hurt if you decided to give her up.
Chapter 10 –
Saying Goodbye:
Life Without Your Dog
The sad reality is that sooner or later, your family will deal
with the loss of your dog. Your dog may die of illness or old
age, or you may find that, because of behavioral concerns,
you need to find your dog another home or make the
extremely difficult decision to euthanize your dog if he
cannot be safely and responsibly rehomed.

In any case, you will find yourself having difficult
discussions with your children. We all want to spare our
children pain, so it’s worth spending a little time now
thinking about how you want to handle this situation when
the time comes.

              ~ Dogs’ lives are too short.
               Their only fault, really. ~
                    Agnes Sligh Turnbull


WHEN YOUR DOG DIES
It’s very important to recognize that your children have deep
emotions about your dog. They often have a stronger
connection with their pet than with members of the extended
family.
Index
A                                   training before arrival, 78,
activities for kids and dogs           84, 88
  bow, 114, 125                  baby gate, 7, 33, 63, 72, 73,
  fetch, 71, 123                    78, 82, 98, 118, 126
  food bowl exercises, 51        barking, 29, 52, 53, 56, 59,
  Hansel & Gretel trails, 102       62, 68, 76, 84, 109, 117
  hide & seek, 122               barrier frustration, 56, 59
  hunting kibble, 123            be a tree, 41-45, 96, 109,
  name game, 87, 98, 100-           112, 151
     101, 120-121                   instructions, 42
  rainy day come, 121            behaviors to train
  rollover, 125                     boundary ropes, 88, 98,
  spin, 125                            118, 126-127
  sit-stay, 101-102, 122, 123       drop it/trade, 50, 71, 78,
  tricks, 114, 125-126, 136,           87-88, 123-124
     137, 151                       go to mat, 85-86
advocacy, 3, 5, 10, 114, 135        leave it, 78, 87, 88
aggression, 3, 15, 27, 34, 35,      name game, 87, 98, 100-
  40, 49, 50, 56, 57, 58, 99,          101, 120-121
  109, 111, 112, 113, 123           peanut butter kisses, 92
agility, 135, 151                   sit, 14
assessing your dog, 29-30           stay, 101-102, 122, 123
Association of Pet Dog              tricks, 114, 125-126, 136,
  Trainers, 8, 149, 154, 160           137, 151
                                 Bennett, Robin, 151, 155,
                                    156
B                                bite
babies, 21, 30, 66, 72, 75-89,      circumstances, 1, 2, 4, 5,
  95                                   19, 20, 33, 36, 38, 40,
  introducing dog to baby,             49, 52, 56, 72, 95, 112,
     79                                123
                                                     Index – 15

  inhibition, 24, 26, 38-40,      crates, 33, 59, 64-65, 73, 82,
     82                             101, 107, 110-111, 116,
  prevention,4, 5, 33-45, 49,       136
     55, 92, 152
  severity, assessment, 58        D
  speed, 41                       death of dog, 139-148
  statistics, 1, 2, 27, 33, 40,   Delise, Karen, 44, 81
     43                           diaper pails, 28, 65, 73
  thresholds, 56-57               dress up, 6, 41, 96
body language, 14, 33-37,         driving with a dog, 72, 136
  45, 85, 117, 151, 152           drop it, see trade
body sensitivities, 29, 54-55,    Dunbar, Ian, 58, 149, 150
  154
body type, 20
books for kids, 128, 143          E
bow, 114, 125                     elementary schoolers, 105-
bowls, see food bowl                129, 132, 150
boys, 1, 19, 24, 33, 40-41,       energy level, dog’s, 6, 17,
  43, 44, 57, 91, 97, 106,          18, 20-22, 76, 80, 84, 135
  109, 116, 118, 119, 134         exercise, 6, 21, 22, 73, 78,
breed traits, 14-17, 20, 31,        83-84, 89, 122, 134, 144
  66, 147
Broitman, Virginia, 137, 151      F
                                  family dog traits, 16-27, 29,
C                                    31, 40, 52, 54, 62, 81
cat as pet, 12                    fatal attacks, 81
Certified Pet Dog Trainer, 8      fear of dogs, 5, 13-14
chasing, 34, 53, 62, 107, 108     fearful dog, 40, 50, 52-53,
clicker, 7, 127, 129, 149, 151       57,62, 82, 112, 113
collars                           fetch, 71, 123
   choke, 66, 67, 113             fight-or-flight, 52, 56, 82
   prong, 67, 113                 flyball, 135, 136, 152
   buckle, 66                     food,
   martingale, 66                    food bowl exercises, 51
come, see also rainy day             high-quality diet, 21, 22,
   come, 29, 53, 98, 112, 135        28, 70, 155-160
crawling, 28, 63, 81, 82          freestyle, 135, 136, 152
CPDT, see Certified Pet Dog       freeze, dogs, 29, 37, 49
   Trainer                        freeze dance, see be a tree
16 – Living with Kids and Dogs . . . Without Losing Your Mind

G                                  M
girls, 1, 24, 40-41, 43, 96,       management, as key to
   107                              success, 4,5,6-7, 9,10, 19,
greeting friendly dog, 117-         30, 33, 41, 43, 44, 50, 53,
   118                              59, 76, 79-84, 98-99, 108,
grief, 139-146                      111-119, 129, 133-134
growl, 4, 19, 20, 29, 38, 47-      mat, 77, 85-86
51, 53, 57, 61, 62, 82, 112,
117, 144                           N
                                   name game, 87, 98, 100-101,
H                                    120-121
half-moon eye, 37                  neuter, 27
Halloween, 97
Hansel & Gretel trails, 102        P
harnesses,                         peanut butter kisses, 92
  three strap, 7, 66, 67, 108,     pet stores, 23
  113, 153                         petting, 34, 83, 92-95, 117-
  traditional, 66                    118, 129
head halters, 67, 108, 113         phones, cordless, 63
hide & seek, 122                   pool, wading, 72
housetraining, 12, 23, 24, 26,     preschoolers, 5, 10, 28, 41,
  58-61, 76, 150                     69, 91-103, 107, 111, 112
hugs, 3, 37, 41, 95, 103, 114
hunting kibble, 123
                                   R
                                   rainbow bridge, 142
J
                                   rainy day come, 121
jumping, 3, 6, 14, 42, 58, 79,     rally obedience, 135, 153
  84, 88, 109, 115                 relationship, as key to
                                      success, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9,
L                                     10, 30, 33, 34, 40, 44, 50,
lavender, 21                          76, 77-78, 91-97, 101, 102,
leash, 42, 44, 59, 66, 67, 68,        105, 106-111, 119, 121,
   79, 107, 111, 118                  129, 132-133, 136, 142,
   using two, 115                     149, 153
lip lick, 29, 37                   rescue groups, 22, 23, 26, 30,
Lippman, Sherri, 137, 151             145
                                   resource guarding, 19-20, 26,
                                      31, 47-49, 51, 61, 81, 100,
                                      124, 150
                                                    Index – 17

rituals, saying goodbye, 145-    tolerance, 3, 5, 29, 54, 83,
   146                              95, 96, 107, 114
rollover, 125                    trade, 50, 71, 78, 87-88, 123-
ropes, as a boundary, 88, 98,       124
   118, 126-127                  trainers, 5, 26, 30, 41, 49, 51,
Ryan, Terry, 68                     53, 54, 57, 58, 78, 81, 108,
                                    109, 135
S                                   finding a good trainer, 8-9,
shelters, 12, 22, 23, 26, 27,          149
   30, 59, 62, 77, 146              old methods, 9, 40, 50, 57,
shaping, training technique,        113, 119
   127-128                       training, as key to success, 2,
                                    4, 5, 7, 8-9, 10, 15, 17, 21,
small dogs, 23
                                    30, 33, 36, 41, 44, 50, 52,
smart dogs, 17, 121
                                    55, 59, 66-67, 71, 76-77,
snap, 19, 23, 37, 41, 49, 57,       78, 84-88, 97, 99-102, 110,
   61, 95, 106, 112, 159            113, 115, 119-129, 131,
social drive, 18-19, 20, 26,        134-137, 149, 150, 151,
   28, 29, 31, 52, 56, 110          157
socialization, 24, 54            treats, 50, 51, 60, 65, 71,
spaying, 27                         100, 101, 115
spin, 125                           best way to deliver, 100
stare, 19, 29, 49, 57, 96        tricks, 114, 125-126, 136,
strangers, anxiety about, 24,       137, 151
   54, 57
Sternberg, Sue, 21               W
stuffed animals, 3, 6, 83, 92,   warning signals, 4, 29, 36,
   103                             37, 38, 41, 49, 50, 57
storm doors, 68                    freeze, 29, 37, 49
success, three keys to, 5-9,       growl, 4, 19, 20, 29, 38,
   10, 30, 50, 76, 79                 47-51, 53, 57, 61, 62,
swings, 72                            82, 112, 117, 144
                                   half-moon eye, 37
T                                  lip lick, 29, 37
teenagers, 10, 15, 54, 99,         snap, 19, 23, 37, 41, 49,
   131-138                            57, 61, 95, 106, 112, 159
temperament, 16, 26, 106           snarl, 29, 49
                                   stare, 19, 29, 49, 57, 96
temperament testing, 26
                                   turn away, 37
tether
                                   yawn, 29, 37
   stationary, 59, 68-69, 79     Wizard of Oz, body
   to human, 59, 69, 118           language, 34
18 – Living with Kids and Dogs . . . Without Losing Your Mind

				
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